The Nebraska Theatre Caravan sent off its latest production, The Fantasticks, on a national tour last week. But did you know that long before this show went on it’s merry way, there was another production being prepped by the NTC? It was small two-woman show called Having Our Say, currently running on the Omaha Playhouse’s Hawks Mainstage and starring the ever talented sibling duo of Camille Metoyer Moten and Lanette Metoyer Moore.
Back in the early 1990s, NTC was busy building the sets and preparing the production for a national tour. Producers for the show included Camille Cosby, wife of comedian Bill Cosby. As a result of NTC doing the prep work, the tour gave its first performance inside the then brand new Lied Performing Arts Center at Creighton University. Two of the audience members that night included Playhouse Artistic Heads Carl Beck and Susie Baer Collins.
“We loved it,” Collins said. “It was incredibly compelling. We’ve always loved it, but finding the right people was key. Those people don’t just grow on trees...We wanted to make sure we could cast it the way we needed to.”
The Playhouse found that cast when the Metoyer sisters came into the picture. So sure was Collins about the duo that they were asked a year before the show even opened to do the show, in order to coordinate schedules and begin work as early as possible.
That work included a very deliberate process on a very unique script. While the show is about two hours, the script is only about 46 pages, but those 46 pages are dense.
“We took it very slowly,” said Collins. “We would only do about five pages at a time, working our way through and reviewing. Eventually, it turned into this very complicated and precise schedule of events. It’s fascinating.”
The amount of food cooked onstage is no joke either. In fact the cake batter made by the duo during the show is so good, Collins said, that each night a member of the crew takes it home and bakes it.
After dealing with all of the food, Collins said she knows one thing for sure, “I will never make a pound cake again!”
Most importantly, Collins pointed out that the mixture of heartfelt storytelling, jarring projections, and loving spirit have created an event “only the theatre could make.”
Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to firstname.lastname@example.org